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  • 24
    MAR

    Public defence of doctoral thesis with Kim West: The Exhibitionary Complex: Exhibition, Apparatus and Media from Kulturhuset to the Centre Pompidou, 1963-1977

    The public defence of doctoral thesis is organised by the subject aesthetics at the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University.

    Kim West

    Doctoral thesis: The Exhibitionary Complex: Exhibition, Apparatus and Media from Kulturhuset to the Centre Pompidou, 1963-1977
    Subject: Aesthetics
    Graduate school: Critical and Cultural Theory at the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University
    Faculty examiner: Felicity Scott, Associate Professor, Columbia School of Architecture, USA.
    Language: English
     

    Summary:

    The Exhibitionary Complex: Exhibition, Apparatus, and Media from Kulturhuset to the Centre Pompidou, 1963–1977 studies the new model of the art museum as an “information center” that was developed by a group of artists, curators, architects, and activists connected to Moderna Museet in Stockholm between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s. Through close readings of Moderna Museet’s unrealized Kulturhuset project, and a series of related attempts at rethinking the exhibition and the museum in relation to new information technologies, systems, and networks, it traces the origins, the critical implications, and the effects of this model, according to which the museum should function at once as a “catalyst for the active forces in society”, a “vast experimental laboratory”, and a “broadcasting station”.
     

    Abstract

    This dissertation traces the history of a diagram. The diagram shows four circles of gradually diminishing sizes, lodged one inside the other, like the layers of a circular or spherical body. For a group of artists, curators, architects, and activists centered around Moderna Museet in Stockholm between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s, the diagram represented a new type of museum: a museological Information Center modeled on the computer, operating as a site for radically democratic social experiments. The four layers stood for different functions: information capture, processing, interface, storage; or, put differently: social spaces and media resources, workshop floors, exhibition facilities, collection.

    Through close readings of a series of exhibitions and institutional projects in Sweden, the US, and France, this dissertation follows the development of this diagram: its prehistory and formulation, its different implementations, and its direct and indirect effects. It studies Moderna Museet’s original, unrealized project for Kulturhuset in Stockholm, according to which the museum should project its dynamic energies across the city center, serving as a “catalyst for the active forces in society”. It discusses the museum’s confrontation with digital technologies in the late 1960s, through pioneering museological organizations such as the Museum Computer Network in New York. It analyzes the exhibition formats developed in correspondence with the notion of the museum as a “vast experimental laboratory” and a “broadcasting station”: the exhibition as critical information pattern, as tele-commune. And it studies the diagram’s afterlife as one of the models informing the Centre Pompidou in Paris, during that project’s early phases.

    The Exhibitionary Complex reads these endeavors and visions as attempts to devise a critical understanding of the exhibitionary apparatus in relation to new information environments and media systems. It sheds light on a largely forgotten aspect of the exhibitionary, museological, and cultural history of the late twentieth century, in Sweden and
    internationally. But it also seeks to establish new models for grasping the exhibition’s singularity and potentials as a cultural and media technological form, in relation to the emergence of new information networks, as they exert increasing control over social, cultural, and political existence.

    Tid och plats

    När: fredag 24 mars kl. 13:00-15:00

    Vad: disputation

    Var: Room MB 503, on the fifth floor in the B-wing, main building, Södertörn University, Campus Flemingsberg

    Arrangeras av: Aesthetics at the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University.

    Evenemangsspråk: engelska